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École Normale Supérieure

The École Normale Supérieure (also known as "ENS", "ENS-Ulm" or "Ulm", from the name of the street where its main campus is located) is an elite French grande école located in the 5th arrondissement of Paris.

Originally meant to train high school teachers, it is now an elite institution training researchers, university professors, and civil servants. It focuses on training through research, with an emphasis on freedom of curriculum.

Its alumni include eight laureates of the Fields Medal, which is the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for the mathematical sciences, as well as Nobel Prize winners in both science and literature.

Apart from the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, three other écoles normales supérieures have been established, with similar goals:

The normaliens, as the students of the several ENS are known, keep a level of excellence in the various disciplines in which they are trained. Normaliens from France and other European Union countries are considered civil servants in training, and as such paid a monthly salary, in exchange for an agreement to serve France for 10 years, including those of studies.

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